Found A Good Post About Singapore’s Poverty From

Just want to say what a good post by Andrew Tan from Made me think a lot about the society in Singapore.

To Andrew Tan, I was thinking of leaving a comment on your blog but as I wrote, it became longer and now it suddenly become long enough for a blog post. So I figure, why not treat it like a tag and continue this discussion on my blog too. Hopefully I will not offend anyone in this post. I have a slight belief in the way Singaporeans view their government and how I view the singapore government (since I am a malaysian living in Singapore).

Poverty is happening around the world and not just Singapore. Just look at Bill Gates for example, he will be donating almost 80% of his wealth to charity foundations, or hong kong’s Richard Li donating their money to help fight poverty but we are not seeing much better results around the world. There seem to be too much poverty and not enough man power to put a stop to it.

I once had this strange theory bubbling in my mind.

The word “Balance” comes to mind. When there is good, there is bad. And where there are riches, there will be poverty. Without the bad, how can the meaning of “good” exist. Similar for poverty. We cannot categorize the old people in the videos we see as poverty (Go to to watch the video). Rather, i know this may sound cruel, but we chose the path which will lead us to where we will be tomorrow.

Through a few experiences while I did that very little*2 bit of volunteer work did I realized some of the situation of the kind of elder generation that live in poverty.

Some situations:

– There are so many businessmen who suffered from their failures and can never stand up to fight back again. They also lose their will to live. They will beg, if there were donations, they will eat, if not, they will just sleep the night away.

– Some older generation refuse to let their kids look after them, they run away from home, but with no help, they will resort to begging, and collecting trash cans for a living.

– Some of them never receive any education but work the hard way, and never had any family. So when their age caught up with them, and with very little savings, and the fact that nobody wants to employ them anyway. Poverty catches up with them.

– The loss of family members through accidents made them lose their will to live. And with the loss of loved ones, there was no hope or aim in their life.

– Lack of financial education. This does not only happen to the older generation, it is still happening among us. We can fall into poverty if we do not educate ourselves to prepare for what the future has installed for us.

Actually, from my understanding, there should be government help available. Only problem is whether do the folks in the video we saw want the government’s help (from my understanding, many of them refuse any kind of help). I have met social workers and they are trying their best to give as much help as possible. But life of a social worker is tough, and the salary is not as attractive. So the lack of manpower also prevents charity organizations from spreading their wings to help more people.

Sometimes I wonder, are the poverty situation in Singapore different from the rest of the world. If you have been overseas, whether in thailand, where you see so many beggars, or in China, where I have seen worst cases. I have seen families that were so poor in Malaysia that they were living in a durian plantation, with just a small little roof over their heads and nothing else.

And when I come back to Singapore, I will still think, the situation may not be as bad. There are still rooms for improvement but it should not just come out from the government. A nation starts from its people, so let us do our part without waiting for the government, to give that extra helping hand.

Many times I have heard people complain about the government, but look around the other countries, their government, their security. I do not believe in getting anything from the government, other than they fulfill the basic necessity of water, electricity and a safe society. The rest, with our own hands, we can built our own future, and in the process, extend that extra helping hand to friends in need.

Hopefully no one felt offended,
Signing off,
Andrew Choong

[tags]Poverty in singapore,charity work[/tags]

One thought on “Found A Good Post About Singapore’s Poverty From

  1. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for the link back to my site. I do agree with you that choices made earlier in one’s life manifest into results in the latter part of one’s life. Law of Cause and Effect.

    Poverty is a world wide issue and there is no straight right or wrong answer… or straight solution to the problem. Perhaps because we are both still young, we can’t truly empathize with the elderly who live to perhaps regret the choices they made earlier in their lives.

    We have the saying that “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” and even the movie “The Matrix” mentioned that they do not pull out the elderly from “the illusion” because it is tough for them to “handle” the reality. Coming back to the point of discussion, it is tough for the aged to “do something” about their situation and therefore I believe the system needs to be set up well to help these people. Albeit through the government, through family or community.

    I guess what we can do as younger people who are more aware is to become whole, independent and self subsistent to the point that we become empowered to help those in need. Of course a caring, fair and responsible government makes it easier… Still no straight answer…Guess in the end it still comes back to the choices we make and the consequences we have to live with. Cheers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *